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Pop-Up Submissions 5th May


Capo Famiglia
Staff member

On today's Pop-Ups…"Gothengau – Fourth Reich Rising" by William Logan; "Bean" by Louis Garratt; "Second Chance" by Gary Parkins; "La Contessa and the Stallion" by Andrew Bryant; "Virtual Dreams" by Robert Derry.

Join us live at 5pm UK!
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Gary P

Thank you Pop-Up Submissions for your comments on 'Second Chance'. Just for the record, Churchill did not want Mussolini rescued or put back in power. It was Hitler that wanted this. Mussolini was rescued by German paratroopers during a daring raid on a mountain-top hotel on Gran Sasso where he was being held prisoner, and taken back to Germany. A few days later Mussolini was sent back by Hitler to take charge of north Italy until his capture by Communist Partisans in 1945. My story after Mussolini's fall from power in 1943 is entirely made up except his rescue at the end. At the moment I've written 50% of 'Second Chance' and hope to finish by the end of the year.

Eva Ulian

Full Member
Of course, I'm absolutely fascinated by this period, being of Italian birth planted in Britain! I find British history books will seldom admit Churchill admired Mussolini and fascism as that was what he wanted for Britain (God Forbid!) It is of course backed up by facts and records that the Germans rescued Mussolini from the Italian Partisans who were backed up by the US underground forces, who in fact wanted Mussolini, the US that is, in power under their control, which in fact would have saved his life, but he refused, or the Germans got there first.

Interesting though, that there was a point when Churchill seriously considered using Mussolini as a peace mediator between Germany and England because Halifax and Chamberlain, influenced by France, forcibly proposed this option to Churchill. However, after much mulling over, Churchill sent them to hell, in the cabinet meeting of May 28th 1940, in his usual flamboyant style as is reported in his memoirs, he says regarding the above decision:

"I was sure that every Minister was ready to be killed and have all his family and possessions destroyed, rather than give in."

More or less along the same lines, of the "Blood, sweat and tears" speech.
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Robert M Derry

Full Member
I've just watched the show now (albeit slightly hungover) and just wanted to say thanks to everyone in the chat room and especially @Katie-Ellen Hazeldine, @Carol Rose & @AgentPete for their feedback. All very useful.

I submitted this back in December and then I've been working on other projects since. I'd had some useful feedback from a beta reader in that time as well, which pointed out a lot of story problems to me, so I wasn't expecting to steal the show.

This did also highlight to me how just taking some time away from a project can really help get you into the frame of mind to assess your work critically. 5 months on, I can immediately see flaws in the text that I was completely blind to months ago.

However, it's probably going to stay in the drawer a while longer as I know that with this being my first novel, I'd bit off far more than I could chew. The virtual universe and the story within was just too complex for me to wrest control of it. It did get me started on this writing journey however, so I learnt plenty over the year I wrote it. Hopefully, someday in the future I'll revisit it and let it see the light of day.


Full Member
@Robert M Derry I thought you had some terrific ideas there, and loved the blurb! You're right about distance helping with the author's more objective reading of their work, I find the same myself. Patience is definitely a virtue. I hope you do revisit the MS at some point. :)

@Gary P I enjoyed your opening very much. I must say, the Mussolini aspect of wartime history is not something I know much about, so was suitably fascinated. Good luck with the rest of it. :writing-hand: